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Design of an Electric Propulsion System for SCEPTORThe rise of electric propulsion systems has pushed aircraft designers towards new and potentially transformative concepts. As part of this effort, NASA is leading the SCEPTOR program which aims at designing a fully electric distributed propulsion general aviation aircraft. This article highlights critical aspects of the design of SCEPTOR's propulsion system conceived at Joby Aviation in partnership with NASA, including motor electromagnetic design and optimization as well as cooling system integration. The motor is designed with a finite element based multi-objective optimization approach. This provides insight into important design tradeoffs such as mass versus efficiency, and enables a detailed quantitative comparison between different motor topologies. Secondly, a complete design and Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis of the air breathing cooling system is presented. The cooling system is fully integrated into the nacelle, contains little to no moving parts and only incurs a small drag penalty. Several concepts are considered and compared over a range of operating conditions. The study presents trade-offs between various parameters such as cooling efficiency, drag, mechanical simplicity and robustness.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Armstrong Flight Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Dubois, Arthur
(Joby Aviation, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)
van der Geest, Martin
(Joby Aviation, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)
Bevirt, JoeBen
(Joby Aviation, Inc. Santa Cruz, CA, United States)
Clarke, Sean
(NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Edwards, CA, United States)
Christie, Robert J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Borer, Nicholas K.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
June 21, 2016
Publication Date
June 13, 2016
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2016-3925
Meeting Information
Meeting: Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference
Location: Washington, DC
Country: United States
Start Date: June 13, 2016
End Date: June 17, 2016
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
electric propulsion
ground tests
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